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Everything's Free at Free Saturday

Free Saturday is one of the events supported by funds from #GivingTuesday.

After Black Friday and after Small Business Saturday and after Cyber Monday comes a day of rest.


A day that speaks for itself.

“It’s just a day for people to support their favorite causes,” said John Mabry, development director at the Lincoln Food Bank. “Some organizations play it up and some are just grateful for whatever they get that day.”

Fifty-five Lincoln nonprofits are listed as 2017 participants in the “global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration,” according to the #GivingTuesday website.

Food Bank is one of them, Common Root is another.

“It’s the second biggest fundraiser of the year for us,” said Andira Losh, a founder and board member of the nonprofit that organizes free community-building and cultural events in Lincoln. “We’ve been gearing up for this.”

Donations will help fund events like Fall for Pride and Free Saturdays, a monthly yard sale where, you guessed it, everything is free.

#GivingTuesday -- not to be confused with Give to Lincoln Day -- started in 2012 after the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation came together to organize a day to celebrate the spirit of giving and the generous American spirit.

An antidote to our consumer-oriented culture that got a boost from corporate co-founders like Cisco and Sony and Google, and a media push from the likes of the Washington Post, ABC News, Mashable and the White House’s official blog.

It’s grown each year, with 2016 donations topping $177 million.

The Belmont Community Center will be participating for the first time Tuesday.

The organization has promoted the opportunity on its Facebook page and at its brick and mortar building at 12th and Judson.

They are not sure what to expect, said Tray Zimmerman, the center’s director. But funds will go toward either general operating expenses or something special. “Toys for the kids or equipment for the gym.”

This year marks the third year the Food Bank has participated in #GivingTuesday and, for the second year, board members are matching the first 20 donations of $100, Mabry said. The Peed Foundation is also joining the effort, matching all donations up to a $10,000 total.

It’s a pretty cool deal, even without the extra incentive to give, he said.

And a pretty cool deal for all the nonprofits in town.

“You don’t have to run off to the store at 5 a.m. to grab the latest whatever it is,” Mabry said. “And you don’t have to give money. You can give time, spend the day looking for a volunteer opportunity, whatever it is that works for you.”

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7218 or

On Twitter @TheRealCLK.



Cindy Lange-Kubick joined the Lincoln Journal Star in 1994 and has loved covering life in her hometown ever since. Will write for chocolate. Or coffee.

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